To the Editor:
When NJCAR received the animal control contract from the City of Bayonne two years ago, Mr. Santini made promises to the city regarding the handling of wildlife, through his spokesperson Mr. Swibinski:
1.Swibinsk said Santini “plans to take the animals to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.”
2.”His firm does not euthanize any animals.”
Did Mr. Santini keep his promises? What happened to the wildlife?
It was pointed out at the time that these were unrealistic promises as rehabilitation facilities generally only take animals that are injured and/or orphaned and that they are not meant to be dumping grounds for animals for the convenience of Bayonne.
They are private facilities supported by donations that are often overwhelmed with animals.
Residents were concerned that wildlife would just be killed by Mr. Santini and that Bayonne, in effect, would be hiring a wildlife exterminator.
In direct response to the concerns about the wildlife, Council President Nadrowski, speaking in chambers on behalf of the council, said the council would monitor Mr. Santini by reviewing monthly reports and assessments. The council granted NJACR the contract but also acknowledged our concerns by saying they would oversee it.
After submitting an OPRA request for the monthly reports, it is clear that there is no way to tell from the reports submitted by NJACR what happened to the animals. Concerning wildlife, the reports note how many calls were taken for various species but generally nothing else. There are no dates, times, or outcomes. There is no indication what the response was to most calls or what happened to the animals.
It is reasonable to ask if Mr. Santini fulfilled his promise to the city, to the community, and to the council who approved his contract, to never euthanize an animal. It is also reasonable to ask if the council plans to honor its commitment to hold NJACR accountable.